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Ready for Love


Charlotte Liebling calls herself a “world watcher.” She observes the world around her. Here’s an example: Liebling volunteered in a store. It sold secondhand secondhand used (adjective) We've saved a lot of money by buying secondhand books and furniture. goods. She watched people bringing in items to donate. Some of these were stuffed toys.

FAVORITE FRIEND Charlotte Liebling, who founded Loved Before, shows off a beloved bear in a childhood photo.


Liebling could tell that the toys held sentimental value. So she felt sad when they were sold cheaply or put in the dog-toy section. Sometimes, they were just thrown away.

One night when she got home from work, Liebling started doing research. She realized this wasn’t happening only in her town. Worldwide, she learned, millions of stuffed toys end up in landfills every year.

Liebling stayed up late. She wrote ideas on sticky notes. She posted them on her walls. “If we can change the perception perception a commonly held idea about something (noun) Gil changed people's perception that you have to be athletic to have a career in sports. that stuffed toys lose their value once they’ve been loved,” she recalls thinking, “then we can show people they have so much left in them, and give them to others.” That’s how the Loved Before toy-adoption agency began.

LOTS OF LOVE Loved Before accepts donations of stuffed toys. The company refreshes them and takes their picture. Then it packages them in an environmentally friendly box, ready to ship.


How It Works

People can donate toys through the mail, or by taking them to a drop-off point in the United Kingdom. (That’s where the company is based. Liebling plans to expand to the United States soon.)


The original owner writes down the name of the toy and a story about it. This can include the creature’s favorite things to do and an adventure it’s been on. Liebling and her team like to share what makes the toy unique. They think it helps potential buyers understand its value.


Next, the toy is cleaned and photographed. It’s packaged with its name and story. Every Monday, toys are posted for adoption on the Loved Before website. The company makes a charitable donation of half of the profit from each sale.

NEW HOME A Loved Before customer unboxes her newly adopted stuffed toy, Dua the Giraffe.


Think Twice

Loved Before has sold more than 50,000 stuffed toys. But the company’s goal is more than “just trying to save some toys from landfills,” Liebling says. “We’re trying to change perceptions.” She explains that Loved Before hopes to teach kids “about the value of loving secondhand things again, in the hope that it will go far beyond the idea of teddy bears.”